The Union Budget 2018-19 once again failed to cheer the media and entertainment industry with no suggestions being made to impact the sector. Finance Minister Arun Jaitley failed to consider any changes in the GST slab for this sector.
However, the Budget was a big thumbs up for Digital India and digitization. With a view to promote digitisation, the government is set to make necessary investment in robotics, internet of things (IOT), Artificial Intelligence (AI), digital manufacturing and big data analysis with NITI Aayog to establish a national programme to direct efforts in artificial intelligence. The ministry has decided to double its Digital India budget to INR 3000 crores.
The Government has also proposed to set up five lakh wi-fi hotspots to give access to over five crore rural citizens. Increased data consumption is likely to boost the evolving OTT sector in India.
In his speech, Jaitley mentioned “Global economy is transforming into a digital economy thanks to development of cutting edge technologies in digital space – machine learning, artificial intelligence, internet of things, 3D printing and the like. Initiatives such as Digital India, Start Up India, Make in India would help India establish itself as a knowledge and digital society. NITI Aayog will initiate a national program to direct our efforts in the area of artificial intelligence, including research and development of its applications. The Government has also proposed to set up five lakh wi-fi hotspots to give access to over five crore rural citizens. Increased data consumption is likely to boost the evolving OTT sector in India.”
Jaitley’s Budget Speech: Read here
Finance Bill, 2018: Read here
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